“The 42 players all have an opportunity to express themselves and reveal themselves,” the former captain explained in an interview with AFP. However, they did not all have minutes of play to eat: sixteen of them did not walk the field.
“One can imagine a form of legitimate disappointment, even a certain frustration. We just want it to be temporary, ”said Ibanez. “In the team here, there are players who will join the France group,” added Galthié.
16 empty players
Players from Pro D2 – Matis Perchaud and Rémy Baget from Bayonne or Thomas Laclayat and Enzo Reybier from Oyonnax – but also hooker Christopher Tolofua (Toulon), second lines Rémi Picquette (La Rochelle) and Swan Rebbadj (Toulon), third lines Matthias Haddad-Victor (La Rochelle) and Bastien Vergnes-Taillefer (Bordeaux-Bègles), scrum half Nolann Le Garrec (Racing 92), opener Louis Carbonel (Toulon), centers Tani Vili (Clermont) , Jules Favre (La Rochelle) and Louis Le Brun (Castres) or even wingers and backs Aymeric Luc (Toulon) and Romain Buros (UBB) thus made the trip empty.
These last two, yet designated candidates for a place in the starting XV, even saw the young Max Spring, 21 years old and ten matches this season, overtake them in the hierarchy since the Racingman celebrated his first selection during the second test against Japan. Behind Jaminet, and while Brice Dulin (31, 36 caps) or Anthony Bouthier (29, 8 caps) are struggling to assert themselves, there is a place to take.
Among the selected, the hinge Matthieu Jalibert-Maxime Lucu had a card to play. But neither the opener nor the scrum half have really demonstrated that they have the shoulders to compete with the usual holders, the Toulouse Antoine Dupont and Romain Ntamack.
Flament, life in pink
Matthis Lebel, their teammate with the Rouge et Noir, scored his first two international tries and proved that he could enter the rotation on the wing, behind the indestructible Damian Penaud and Gabin Villière. Unlike Thomas Jolmes, roaring in the first game but much more inside then.
Back in Blue, Charles Ollivon has regained his captain’s stripes. He will have to get rid of the competition posed by the Jelonch-Alldritt-Cros trio to retain the captaincy, admirably replaced by Dupont for several months, Grand Slam at stake.
In the radius of satisfactions, the hooker Peato Mauvaka, by his races and his scrapings, showed again that he had a card to play behind his partner Julien Marchand. Same story for the Toulonnais Jean-Baptiste Gros in the position of right pillar or the scrum half Baptiste Couilloud, author of a decisive test and who knew how to bring his energy by springing from the bench.
The second line Thibaud Flament has also confirmed, asserting himself in his role. It has even “taken a lot of scope”, according to Karim Ghezal, in charge of the French touch. “He didn’t advertise in the club but he’s starting to do so. He had studied the Japanese game […] and, on the ball stolen by Thomas Lavault, it was he who had given the instructions” during the first game, confided the assistant coach.